Saturday, April 24, 2010

Why am I so scared of the "A" word?

I started taking a class online about Autism, and it's like watching home videos of Summy as a child. (By the way, the modules are FABULOUS and free, and I highly recommend them to anyone wanting to learn more about Autism. Find them HERE.) It's led to tearful nights, and arguing with myself, and a lot of uncertainty. I just don't know if we should push forward to meet with someone about it or not. About 6 months ago, we expressed our fears to the boys' EI teacher, and she asked us this question: "If Summy is diagnosed as Autistic, will it change what you are doing now?" The answer is a resounding no. However, I can't help that nagging feeling that returns: what if we should be doing more?

(By the way, as a special needs parent, you are ALWAYS asking this. Hell, any parent, really.)

With the advent of the new DSM, Asperger's and other "types" of Autism will go away and Autism will be diagnosed on a scale of severity. Hopefully too Sensory Processing Disorder will be an official diagnosis as well. (Support that cause HERE) I guess I am left questioning: what is it? Sensory Processing, or Autism too?

SPD parents out there, do you find yourself ever asking this question? If you have a child on the spectrum, when were they diagnosed, and what triggered you to speak with a specialist?


The Lesters said...

My boy was diagnosed at 2 and a half. I started noticing funny things at around 14 months. The thing that first concerned me was he stopped responding to his name. Sometimes he would but it was rare. That and the lack of language development. I also saw that he wasn't playing with his toys appropriately.

If you are losing sleep over it (I know I was, I went back and forth for the longest time), I would go ahead and get him tested. It couldn't hurt. And maybe you would find out about some different treatments you could try.

I know no one likes to label their child but sometimes labels help. For instance if your child is diagnosed as autistic and you live in OH you can send them to special schools for free.

Just some thoughts. And if you ever want to talk you can e-mail me:

Oh and by the way, what does DSM stand for?

Danica said...

Sending hugs.

Cate said...

Lex was diagnosed on 2/1/10, he was just shy of 28 months old. I want to say I knew from when he was 15 months that there was something wrong but other than his utter lack of speech he seemed on track.

We received the recommendation of diagnosis (his speech therapist did the evaluation and is not licsenced in our state to give the diagnosis until our dr signs off on it) after his therapist had a feeling that Lex was somewhere on the spectrum. He had been working with Lex for close to 6 months at that point and felt like he knew him well enough to do the evaluation with us. I have to admit between the time I suspected something was wrong and the time of diagnosis I was in denial, no matter of research could convince me but now looking back I'm sure I knew much before. Like the previous commenter said labels are awful but they can be a godsend. Our daycare is more willing to work with us and Lex will be starting a special program in the fall all because of the "A word". My thoughts are with you and if there is anything I can help with shoot me an email

Christina said...

We were worried with Abby when she was about 18 months old, but quickly had our therapist tell us she didn't see any signs. Her son is has autism, and so I know that if she sees anything, she'll be the first to let us know.
I totally understand being scared.

Annie said...

Sending hugs!!!!!

heather@it'stwinsanity said...

My son was diagnosed with Sensory Integration Dysfunction at 2 and Aspergers at 4. At the time, they told me they didn't diagnose autism spectrum disorders until age 3 and I suspect that's why he got the SID diagnosis first. For us, the label made a difference in terms of getting services covered (speech, OT, etc.) thru our insurance company.